Getting a dog of any type requires some preparation, but if you’re planning on getting a large breed of dog, you’ll need to make several changes to your home. Smaller dogs are much easier to manage, take up less space, and will mean fewer changes to your home on the whole, but if you heart is set on a large dog, consider the following:
First of all, a large dog requires a lot of space to exercise. If you know you won’t have a lot of time to walk your dog – which is certainly something you’ll need to consider – you’ll need to have a good sized backyard. This way, your dog can at least have some space to run around in to exercise. Of course, if you plan on using your backyard for this purpose, you’re going to need a good fence to keep your dog in.
There are two things to consider when it comes to a good fence – height and good-quality construction. A large dog is able to jump fairly high, so you’ll need at least an 8′ fence, just to be on the safe side. You’ll also want to be sure your fence is made of high-quality materials – you don’t want your dog to be able to break a hole through your fence. If you have a stockade fence, be sure all the pickets are in good shape and are solidly attached to each other and the posts. With a chain link fence, make sure the ends are attached to the posts and that none of the corners have come loose.
If you’re planning to tie your dog up in the backyard for exercise, you’ll need to have a well-tethered pole or good-sized tree to attach the chain to. If you choose to go this route, be sure that your dog can’t get near any fences or obstacles. If this is unavoidable, make sure that the chain is long enough that should your dog try to jump over the obstacle, he or she will reach the ground on the other side. Nothing is sadder than finding your dog injured or worse from trying to jump the fence on a short leash.
Inside your house, there are several other things to consider. First, large dogs can get very excited, and if you have anything fragile sitting on a low shelf, a rapidly wagging tail can sweep it right onto the floor. Bigger dogs can also jump up on chairs, couches, and beds with ease, so be ready to find muddy paw prints all over if your dog goes outside after it rains. You may need to institute a paw-wiping session after your dog goes outside to protect your belongings!
Of course, you’ll need to be well-stocked with the basics, too, but be sure to get the large size in everything! Big dogs eat a lot, so you’ll need a big food and water bowl. A large collar and dog bed are also necessities. If your dog is going to be on a leash or chained in the yard, you’ll want to be sure to get a heavy duty leash and chain, since bigger dogs can break some of the weaker ones.
Preparing your home for a large breed dog does take a bit more than it does for a smaller dog, but it’s not that much more difficult. Just take note of any fragile items and move them, and make certain your backyard and fence are in good shape. Other than that, simply buy the large, heavy-duty sized items and you’ll be ready to go!